Relationships: Godly? Or Just Rules?

Relationships: Godly? Or Just Rules?

A review of Christian relationships in today's society.
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I recently watched the movie, "Old Fashioned" with a couple friends of mine. As we watched this movie, we went on the emotional roller coaster with the characters, experiencing a beautiful faith-based romance that we thoroughly enjoyed in the moments. We became enthralled with the movie, fell in love with the characters and cried at the moments that deserved tears, freaking out like normal girls at a romantic movie. However, when the movie was over and when we had finished our reminiscing over the parts that we liked, we got to really talking and we realized just how much discussion this movie could bring about.

Within the film, the main character, Clay, is looking to form a godly relationship. He claims that dating isn't really useful and he has basically secluded himself in his antique shop in a small town, living with his great aunt and helping her out with what needs to be done. He is, in general, a "good" person, doing good deeds and respecting women and others as much as he possibly can. Then he meets a young woman named Amber. This woman goes wherever the wind takes her. As soon as she gets enough money to afford gas, she drives away as far as she can, running away from her problems and "chasing after the warm and fuzzies." These two get to know each other and they start going out. Eventually they realize that they love each other, and the rest is probably obvious, because it is a romance movie.

In all of this, the film makes a good story. But I want to look at their relationship in more detail and discuss more of the "godliness" of their relationship. Clay claimed to be a Christian, but he didn't go to church because he got tired of the hypocrites there. Amber hadn't grasped faith yet. In the movie, they only go to church together once, and that is because Clay's great aunt practically drags them there. Their relationship was chaste. They didn't cheat on each other, though the temptations may have arisen once or twice. They remained loyal to one another, and they are very respectful towards one another. Clay reserves the first kiss for marriage. He is extremely respectful towards women, to the point where he seems somewhat high-and-mighty, working to gain a second chance after his past.

Now that I've described some of their relationship, I want to discuss my thoughts on it. Though it was a very respectful relationship, I do not believe that it was necessarily a godly relationship. In a godly relationship, there is more than just being respectful and having a lot of rules smashed into a dating relationship. To have a truly godly relationship, there must be a leading aspect. The man, or whoever is stronger in their faith, should lead the other in their faith. They should continually point them to Scripture and prayer, pointing them to God rather than themselves. They should be praying for and with each other. Clay claimed to be against dating, because he said that dating did not really lead to a godly relationship, but in the movie, he went against this view. His relationship looked a whole lot like a normal dating relationship but with more rules slapped onto it.

Yes, remaining chaste and loyal is part of a godly relationship. Yes, respecting the honor of a woman is all well and good, however, while a relationship "isn't all about the warm and fuzzies" (to quote Clay), a relationship "isn't all about rules either" (to quote Amber.) I do not think the movie truly accomplished what it was trying to accomplish. Though I enjoyed this film a great deal, I found it lacking. This lack, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. It is something that can lead to discussion and help people delve deeper into what a godly relationship truly is. I do recommend that people watch this film and then discuss it among their friends and families.

While you watch this film, ask yourself this question. Are your relationships godly, or did you simply slap some nice rules onto them?

Cover Image Credit: Examiner

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Poetry On Odyssey: Summer

However I choose to spend my time, I will know that I made this summer season mine.

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Summer

Oh how I have missed this time of year.

My favorite season, it is finally here!


The time for laying on the beach with my toes in the sand.

Or going in a boat away from land.


Feel the sun shine down on me,

Or sitting in the shade under neighbor's tree.


Going with my mom and taking a hike,

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However I choose to spend my time,

I will know that I made this summer season mine.


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